Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ruined Valentine

In the ruined castle of the poem
I long to see the bedrooms
not just the broken staircase
and the dark front room
where the callers are received
like the (high) school years
when the herd is thinned
by precocity and terror
I want to sit in the kitchen
for early breakfast and late
nights sipping and listening
to the adults murmuring
about the night ahead
the day behind

Real Valentine

What was ever real
I’m always looking
for what wants
the new to arrive
it doesn’t matter
what you’re using
this fall takes flight
I know for myself
the reality show
that could be made
just of my own
four trees and
loved shrubs
yes you can
love a shrub

Avenging Valentine

One day one huge ant
will crawl up out of all
these little ant-heaps
all these tiny ants scrambling
like drops of rain
drawn back up into
one ominous brown cloud
gross with thorny legs
moving at great speed
toward our homes

and streets crushing
trucks and scattering
the ant-like people
whose distant screams
float out over the calm
ocean of evening
like rags of pollen grain

Friday, August 30, 2013

Research Questions Valentine

Did the valleys
make the hills
slowly building
them up or was it
the hills eventually
carved the valleys
or was a decision made
at the precipice
of a certain promontory
that we could leap or
follow the runnels
downward step by step
tears had already made
to the floor far below
where the sea of happiness
comes into a million coves
nestling the moon of cares

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Humble Valentine

The true gods need us
not to need them
in any way that
would compromise
our freedom or dignity
as co-workers in
these worlds of time
and matter all
spirits are created
equal yet there are
ranks of poverty
and humility so
multiple the highest
live in stones
and bones

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Promethean Valentine

He was like a fire moving
up to a higher elevation
a higher calling of fire
‘The Inextinguishable’
which only music can express
the inexpressible which
for music is common speech
the music of a language
or the music of a beach
not just the ocean’s loud
mumbling and dramatic pauses
but the smudged voices
of people and children
tossed among the waves
that music which precedes
and follows sense

Reaching Valentine

Have you ever punched a rose
accidentally right in the face
and watched its head explode
you thought it was snowing
didn’t you since those were
whitened petals drained of
all but the final remorse
which precedes the brown art
of letting it all go to hell
and we were falling after all
having tripped ourselves
again and reaching out
as if to love to save us
fell the heavier
for grasping thorns 

Flying Over Valentine

Sorrow goes on ahead of me
to get everything ready
the way I like it
calmly awaiting my arrival
but happiness is viral
and only happens during
a present-filled flight over
fields that go on and on
though it’s sorrow that has
my back and whispers against
whatever I was thinking
please just do what I say
I do try to listen and respect
the sensible claims wisdom makes
I see him pausing looking back at me
sternly choking a grin 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Confessional Valentine (for Paul)

I confess poetry
is my lover we meet
for ‘coffee’ as soon
as he can escape his wife
in a distant donut shop
of the heart conceived
out of wedlock a bit
creepy in a homey way but
I kid the fates those hirelings
it’s all been prearranged
it was really us who had them
bring us here to give
ourselves away to see
how we would do it
one more time

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August Roses Valentine

The breadth of a rose
is the breath of a rose
how it fans out into fields
and is breathed by creatures
of the air and cosmos
how it invents sculpture
and dance at the same time
then swirls off
nesting into forever
but what when you have
twelve of them all clamoring
to be your own personal vortex
all threatening to carry you away
and you have only one heart to break

Friday, August 23, 2013

Amfortas' Valentine

The great unspeakable
wound of today besides
the genitals is the asshole
any human asshole
is being fucked
from the inside
as well as from the outside
the dump site out of sight
where yet unforgiven
we must deal with
our own personal
triumph over matter
hopefully in private
but the hole gets tired
or hungry whichever
the case may be and
strange how the body
resembles it more
as the spirit diapers
the lost parameters
the fallen wiped away

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Historical Valentine 2

What are the chances
you could be a dwarf-
who must win at all costs
and I could sit down
at your table the past
with its hankerings
for resurrection among
the stakes in that green
room of the chronicle
you claim to have redeemed
from all indifference and pain

Historical Valentine

One must be sad
to read history
as what happened
and not as what
must now be done
however the past
refuses what flows
into it out of the future
the way trees come
out of a certain air
or the air itself comes
out of last year’s
berries and despair
as if time wanted
to hurry past itself
and still be there

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Afterwardsness Valentine

How does it feel
to be both a preposition
and an adverb
after the afterwards
and behind the behind
still some now waiting
for you to catch up with
it afterwards but
which afterwards
do I reclaim-
defer as you are
my afterwards
I am your before

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Spikey Presence of Now Valentine

When Venus creeps into Libra
for her annual much-needed vacation
like a lover who wakes
you in the middle of the night
where my hands go
and if you cannot touch
the skin feel the shoulder bone
what have you
if only I could be
wakened as if you
offered me my awakening
on a silver platter
but I wanted you

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Prophetic Valentine

One feels about the future
that it would immediately
become palpably clearer
if one could put
oneself to the side
for a few moments
on a regular basis
as if we never existed
like removing a mask
or lighting a candle
in the middle of the day
a barely measurable
more of light
in the vast brightness
but ours

Assumption Valentine

Day after day
I keep coming
to this spring
where the wind gets
to where it’s going
the listening of bees
but I keep trying
to account for you
in a desert of want
spring of the poem
why are you so persuasive
so first person
even when you hide
behind the tools
of the trade
spring of nothing
out of which
something keeps coming

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Doves' Valentine

For the mourning doves
who come in the morning
among shadows I’ve arranged
breast of pomegranate for
breakfast in the shape of hearts
for them to pick and pick at
while they’re mourning
in the morning faithfully
a pair does come
pearly moaning
in their mourning
picking and picking
in the morning

Benjamin's Valentine

On the threshold
of waking my great
dream stumbles
and dissipates
and the magic lighting
on the dream-side
on the other side
of the sun descends
to the fixed idea
of the world
oh yeah it’s him again
tiny astronaut returned
to reality and sadness
but not the same

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bain Valentine

A deeper shade of narcissism
than heretofore evident in poetry
haunts conceptualism meant
to circumvent the hard parts
of writing about feelings
and meaning to make irrelevant
what they cannot do themselves
like over-praised children
but let’s be real the vulture
capitalists of poetry fall back
continually on our freedoms
and the sucker blood
we call American us
but in the true country
of poetry is fought
the greatest obstacle of all
so the world
can be at peace

Monday, August 12, 2013

Imaginary Valentine

He works on cars
I work on yard work
he revs the engine
I rev the shears
he hammers metal on metal
I rake in petal after petal
he smokes cigarettes
I pick weeds
he has a son
I have a daughter
when he’s done
we wash up
go for a ride
nothing to hide

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Universal Valentine

Writing commercials
for the universe
this way (can be)
an incomplete universe
without spiders
sowing new ones (universes)
my old friends tonight
Siegfried and Parzival
two moths fencing with the light
the universe can just go
kiss my fat ass
am I not a universe too
no I kid the universe
I pull on its tail
I hold on for dear life

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Out of Season Valentine

Love collides with life
no it’s not just in Stockholm
‘the underwater
scenes as well as
the sexual ones
are truly precious’
I could read the review
over his shoulder
but then the doors
opened and closed and it
left my consciousness
until much later
as pinions of snow
slowly falling and rising
over the dark streets

Friday, August 9, 2013

Vuitton Valentine

I live to laugh
no I mean it
and not necessarily
a happy laugh
or a sad laugh
can there be
a neutral laugh
that isn ‘t laughable
or a choked laugh
yes there can be
but when I look
at these black Louis
Vuitton men’s dress
shoes so finely made
and photographed
at what expense
I laugh to live
yea verily
I live on laughter
lest I starve

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Morning Valentine

Under the eight-armed umbrella
up close beside the striped agave
where the aloe is breaking
right over its banks while the
neighborly lantana looks on
half-dead across the way
and one bird aware of me
in the orange tree I’m sure
in shade enshrouded
yes embalmed this early
this must be the plan
surround thyself
with beauty while
death drives by 

Time's Valentine

When after sleeping
in the same bed
for years I’ve
worn a pocket
or after sitting
for years at the same
end of the sofa
I’ve worn a niche
or after holding
for years the same
thought I’ve worn
a groove in my brain
(without time there’s
no possibility of change)
no new bed
no new sofa
no new brain
but to have uncovered
something true about myself
I could not have noticed
or acknowledged until now
having worn a curve
around myself
proves the usefulness
of time for me
in the larger scheme
of things

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Vacation Valentine

Nature is all
we’ve left behind
and failed to nurture well
though it seems like
everyone still wants to
come to earth eventually
a popular destination for
that vacation from hell
(amazingly these
are still being allowed
every year more)
so in the desolate
places we can find
the future but how
restrict the flow
when there’s so
much here to do
and so much
more to know

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rainy Valentine

The poem this rain
writes is silly
and almost completely
but let me try
if you were a
house or a wall
it would be easier
to be so intimate
with you and
touch all the parts
of the towns
and the forests
that make you up
but I’m not one
to linger

Monday, August 5, 2013

Luciferic Valentine

It’s how we are delusional
(deluded delude-able)
not about what
dude did or didn’t say
about right and wrong
if we cannot see
that what we know
about anything is immediate
and temporary
limited and confused
(if we still have to harm
someone to make a point)
if we refuse to be humbled
if we refuse
to bow our heads

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dying Valentine

Halfway up the trellis
the vine stops –
maybe tomorrow
‘Homeless in Heaven’
I call him
my dying rose
the way he sprawls
himself in scrawls
along the walls I suppose
I’m trying to infiltrate
the placement of his
vowels the inspiration
on his lips right now
with you for camera
and me for scowl

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Every Object Is A Frozen Memory Valentine

Morning is misleading
as the moon slips into water
where it feels everything
more strongly now
and outwardly your need
to exaggerate gets
a gentle shove toward
the innermost threat
of satisfaction all day
smoothly offered
while night depending
on your chances waits
holding your wings

Friday, August 2, 2013

Perennial Valentine

Doing and thinking
are usually planning
to hijack feeling
as soon as they can
get their hands on him or her
they aren’t sure which
but there are diagnostic
cruises thinking is always
taking which infuriate doing
reaching for his hammer
or his gun but finally feeling
the source of all power
fills the empty tree-trunk
of the heart with wild
roses and leaves
begin to open as
their lives return
striding between the two

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lover's Valentine

Only lonely people
go to parks which
means we’re all lonely
on different days
though it wouldn’t
take a park
to prove it which
is why I’m here
walking the mile
it takes to circum-
navigate the lake
may I have another
mile no I mean
another lover

Valium Valentine

Just before I try
to write something
I feel crazy-terrified
for a few seconds
my hands shake
over the first words
as if whatever I
would say would be
wrong rude unclear
what no one wants
to hear as if I wrote
for them and not
to save my self
and you